A Legacy of Excellence

hall of fame


On the evening of Thursday October 3, 2019, we were excited to recognize the eight new members of our Hall of Fame who have all excelled in their chosen fields and given back to their communities. The list included chart-topping songwriters, record-setting athletes, award-winning architects, local leaders, inventors, as well as educators and philanthropists. 


We were joined by 300 guests to celebrate the new Hall of Fame members as part of the Homecoming Week festivities. The honorees gathered in front of in the Robert B. Wentz Theater at 6:30pm to kick off a meet-and-greet hour

with the Sailor community. The ceremony commenced at 7:30pm with Bob Rogers (Class of 1968 and previous Hall of Fame honoree) serving as MC. Four other past honorees (Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Dennis O’Hern, James “Walkie” Ray, and Justice David Thompson) introduced our new Hall of Fame class. 


Each of our “great eight” who spoke offered wisdom about how to approach life with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm. 


The six Alumni inductees include:

The Honorable Selim S. Franklin, Class of 1947, devoted community leader

Bruce Penhall, Class of 1975, charismatic champion

Rolly Pulaski, Class of 1953, civic-minded architect 

Sharon Sheeley, Class of 1957, groundbreaking songwriter

Suzanne Shriner, Class of 1985, multitalented global citizen 

Hal Smith, Class of 1944, altruistic inventor


The two honored Faculty are:

Jules Gage, innovative athletic director at NHHS 1949-58, 1967-83

Mary Lyons, creative English teacher at NHHS 1965-82 


It was a wonderful evening, and you can see photos from the event here: 

Our Hall of Fame tradition began in June of 2014, when the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association inducted our first class of Alumni and Faculty. We have recognized champion athletes, brave military personnel, cutting-edge scientists, public servants, artists, writers and actors, as well as beloved teachers, coaches, and administrators—all individuals who reflect our alma mater’s most cherished values of good citizenship and service to others.


Take a look at our past honorees for inspiration, and then let us know who you think should be included next time. We are always accepting nominations, so help us find excellent Alumni and Faculty. To nominate a special NHHS Sailor, please fill in this information: 

Each Hall of Fame ceremony has been unique, including a special moment our first year when Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, returned to finally walk at graduation 72 years late. You won’t want to miss out, so make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our next event! 

Check out our Interview Series!

We're excited to partner with local radio KOCI 101.5 FM (streaming on-line at KOCIRadio.com) for a series of interviews with outstanding NHHS Alumni and Staff. Enjoy hearing from your favorite former teachers & interesting classmates to bring back the good memories!

FEATURED Hall of Fame Moment 

Don Miyada.jpg

Dr. Don Miyada (Class of 1942) began at Newport Harbor High School in 1938, unaware that in the next few years, world events would keep him from his graduation day. In the spring of 1942, Don Miyada and his family were sent to the Poston War Relocation Center, a Japanese Internment camp in Arizona. He treasured the NHHS diploma he received at Poston by mail, because many of his peers from other schools were not given their diplomas; however, he missed the opportunity to celebrate this accomplishment. When the Seniors of the Class of 2014 learned of Dr. Miyada’s story, they were so moved they decided to invite him to be a part of their own ceremony, and so right a decades-old wrong.

1st Class Inductees


Albert Irwin

Albert Irwin, Class of 1937, legendary athlete, educator and coach, was the first four year, five sport letterman (basketball...

Albert Irwin.jpg

George James

George James, renowned watercolor artist and Class of 1950, began his journey in art classes at NHHS...

George James.jpg


Greg and Dr. Barbara Smith MacGillivray, innovative filmmakers and stewards of the environment, started...

Greg and Barbara Smith MacGillivray.jpg

Frank Marshall

Frank Marshall, Class of 1964, transformative power in the entertainment and sporting industries...

Frank Marshall.jpg

Misty May-Treanor

Misty May-Treanor, the greatest athlete in the history of beach volleyball, established her initial determination...

Misty May-Treanor.jpg

Dr. Miyada

Dr. Don Miyada, Class of 1942, accomplished professor and resilient patriot, arrived at NHHS in 1938, unaware...

Don Miyada.jpg

Jim Newkirk

Jim Newkirk, outstanding athlete, philanthropist, and educator, began his life of community service at NHHS...

Jim Newkirk.jpg

James Seely

James Seely, Rear Admiral US Navy, dauntless pilot and patriot, graduated from NHHS in 1950, as varsity in...

James Seely.jpg

Anthony Zerbe

Anthony Zerbe, star of stage and screen, graduated from NHHS in 1954, and has spent more than fifty years passionately...

Anthony Zerbe.jpg

George Yardley

George Yardley, basketball legend, attended NHHS in the 1940s, where he dribbled his way across the courts that now...

George Yardley.jpg

Sidney Harold Davidson

Sidney Harold Davidson laid NHHS’s foundation of excellence as the school’s first principal. A graduate...

Sidney Harold Davidson.jpg

Webster J. Jones

Web Jones, outstanding educator and a founding father of NHHS’ Heritage Hall, was a leader on campus for...

Webster J. Jones.jpg

Ralph King Reed

Ralph King Reed, revered coach and athletic director, started teaching at NHHS in 1930, as one of the first...

Ralph King Reed.jpg

Ruth Stoever Fleming

Ruth Stoever Fleming was NHHS’s first librarian in 1938, and worked tirelessly to bring quality visual art to...

Ruth Stoever Fleming.jpg

Robert B. Wentz

Robert B. Wentz began his monumental career as a drama teacher at NHHS in 1947, after serving in the US Army as...

Robert B. Wentz.jpg

2nd Class Inductees

Maria Arena Bell

Maria Arena Bell, Class of 1981, writer, producer, community leader, began her path to success at NHHS. She wrote for the...


Dr. Joseph C. Corbo

Dr. Joseph C. Corbo, Class of 1986, ground-breaking scientist and linguist, sparked his sense of discovery at NHHS. He threw...


David Emmes

David Emmes, Class of 1957, actor, director, founder, discovered his love of theatre at NHHS in the Senior play. He...


A.G. Kawamura

A.G. Kawamura, Class of 1974, global agricultural leader, planted the seeds of his future service by acting as Junior...

A.G. Kawamura .jpg

Aaron Peirsol

Aaron Peirsol, Class of 2002, international swimming champion, set NHHS and international records. He...


James “Walkie” Ray

James “Walkie” Ray, Class of 1963, builder, philanthropist, community visionary, began the foundation for his...


Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers, Class of 1968, filmmaker, inventor, master story-teller, launched his career at NHHS by co-writing and...


Gregg Schwenk

Gregg Schwenk, Class of 1986, entrepreneur, film aficionado, educator, began leading at NHHS as class President...


Steve Timmons

Steve Timmons, Class of 1977, three-time Olympic medalist in Volleyball, inspired coaches and peers on the NHHS...


Irene Worth

Irene Worth, Class of 1933, actress of stage, screen, and radio, arrived at NHHS as Harriet Abrams. She delighted...


Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett, revered Water Polo coach, began his unprecedented 49 years at NHHS in 1966. At Fullerton College and...


B. Roscine Feeley

B. Roscine Feeley, inspiring English teacher and art lover, arrived at NHHS in the early 1940s. She grew up in...


Fabian Giroux

Fabian Giroux, life-changing History teacher and consummate intellectual, joined NHHS in 1961. A Canadian immigrant...


Dennis O’Hern

Dennis O’Hern, stimulating teacher and globe-trekker, arrived at NHHS in 1965, after earning degrees at OCC and...


Donald J. Ulander

Donald J. Ulander, patriot and educational pioneer, served our country in the US Marine Corps from 1946-55. In China...


3rd Class Inductees


Stuart Cooper

Stuart Cooper, Class of 1960, thought-provoking actor and director, discovered a lifetime of artistic inspiration in...


E. Gene Crain

E. Gene Crain, Class of 1951, world-class art collector and philanthropist, excelled on the NHHS Baseball team as...

Gene Crain.jpg

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, Class of 1970, inventive nautical engineer, made a difference on the NHHS Football...

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield.jpg

David A. Grant

David A. Grant, Class of 1956, intrepid educator and sailor, set his course for success from NHHS where he started...

David A. Grant.jpg

Dr. Mahlon DeLong

Dr. Mahlon DeLong, Class of 1956, ground-breaking neurologist, led at NHHS as Student Body...


Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie, Class of 1971, inspirational pastor, transferred to NHHS, where he found the faith he would dedicate his...


Ted McGinley

Ted McGinley, Class of 1976, dedicated and charismatic actor, brightened the Water Polo team at NHHS as an All-American...

Ted McGinley.jpg

Roger Neth

Roger Neth, Class of 1944, protector of the people, made an impact at NHHS on the 1942 Sunset League Champion...


Dr. Sandi Smith

Dr. Sandi Smith, Class of 1965, cutting-edge communications researcher, enjoyed her time at NHHS as Freshman...


Justice David Thompson

Justice David Thompson, Class of 1974, thoughtful community advocate, began his search for his life’s work at...


Ken Bauermeister

Ken Bauermeister, standard-setting Social Studies teacher, grew up in Iowa playing sports. After serving in the...


Ellen Caricof

Ellen Caricof, skilled P.E. instructor, arrived at NHHS in 1950, after studying at UCLA. She spent the next 38 years...


Marie Hiebsch

Marie Hiebsch, founding Music teacher, played the violin with the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra, and earned...


Robert M. House

Robert M. House, adventurous environmental educator, studied at Pepperdine and CSULB, and in 1955 began a teaching...


Jerry Tagami

Jerry Tagami, creative English teacher, was born in the Gila River Japanese War Relocation Center where his family...


4th Class Inductees


America Arias

America Arias, Class of 2005, forward-thinking journalist, began reaching for future success at NHHS as a...

America Arias.jpg

Dr. Ingrid Buhler Pisetsky

Dr. Ingrid Buhler Pisetsky, Class of 1963, compassionate psychiatrist, flourished at NHHS in the Larkettes choir...


Tris Imboden

Tris Imboden, Class of 1969, expert musician, inherited a love of music from his parents and got his start in local surf bands...


Jerome Keithley

erome Keithley, Class of 1934, dedicated public servant, walked through the doors on NHHS’s opening day. He was...

Jerome Keithley.jpg

Don Cantrell

Don Cantrell, Class of 1950, insightful writer and historian, distinguished himself on the NHHS Football field as...


Chief Tom Gazsi

Chief Tom Gazsi, Class of 1979, law enforcement leader, continued his education at OCC and USC. While still in...